By Doug TenNapel

Before I go back to “A” I figured I would read some of the books that have accumulated newly (as they always seem to somehow!) upon my file cabinet over the days. I also realized that reading Aristotle while waiting at the barber shop was seldom productive, and perhaps a comic book/graphic novel would be more appropriate.

So it came to pass that I read this book, which I picked up after reading the (rather disappointing) Manga collection, and finding TenNapel being one of two authors I really liked. Andi Watson being the other.

And, well, it’s good. It’s a familiar sort of story at this point—paranormal investigator investigating paranormal things—with some refreshing twists: The guy in question has been thrown into the small town of Turlock where he must go through a bunch of Raiders of the Lost Ark-style crates for the government, and in this story, a strange set of events results in a lich after the Shroud of Turin in order to revive a giant space eel, in the service of world domination.

Our hero is equipped with a motorcycle, an alien symbiote, a steadfast old farmer who taught himself quantum physics as a lark one weekend, and a bad attitude opposing science and religion. Turlock being the hometown he escaped, and his father being the pastor adds a little drama.

It’s a good mix. Some of the theological stuff is a little clunky, but in a world glutted with attempts to make comic books relevant by adding sex and gore, it’s nice to have one that tries to approach things from a spiritual angle. It also tends to make the book quite a bit happier, overall, than most.

So, I’d recommend. Good art, nice ink, lettering is quite legible.

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